A History of Paint
For more than thirty-thousand years, man has been using paint. In the earliest times, man used to paint images on cave walls. This provided us a glimpse of what their daily life was like. Some of those ancient cave paintings still exist today.
It wasn’t until the Industrial Revolution that industrial coatings became a regular feature in American life. The first paint mill in the US was established in 1700 by a man named Thomas Child in Boston. One hundred and fifty years later, in 1867, D.R. Averill patented the first ready-mixed paints in the US.
By the mid-1800’s, paint factories began appearing across the country. Because machinery was making the process of manufacturing paint available to larger and less specialized businesses, it gained in popularity. However, paint is heavy and its weight made it expensive to ship. These meant that a scattering of small manufacturers flourished during this period.
The Industrial Revolution created many large, new markets for paint. With the invention of the assembly line, almost every product created was being coated from Model T’s to televisions. Industrial coatings also made their debut. Even then, people understood the value of protective coatings and how they could add durability and longevity to a product.
Around the second world war, people began to recognize the inherent heath and environmental risks that came with some paint ingredients and, as alternatives were discovered, lead and other toxins began to be eliminated from the industry. In the 1950’s, manufacturers voluntarily eliminated all lead from house paints and in 1978 it was banned from all consumer paints by the Consumer Products Safety Commission.
Today, paints of all hues and types exist for a number of different reasons. Protective coatings can be found everywhere from street lettering to industrial coatings. In 2014, total sales for paint were approximately 22 billion dollars.